Google has announced plans to invest $1 billion in accelerating Africa’s digital transformation, over the next five years.
Part of the investment includes a partnership with Safaricom Plc, which will ensure provision of affordable android devices to consumers through an agreed financing plan. The deal seeks to help first-time smartphone users in Kenya gain access to quality, affordable Android smartphones.
Google says the first “Device Financing” plan in Kenya will later be expanded across Africa, with partners including Airtel, MKOPA, MTN, Orange, Transsion Holdings, and Vodacom.
The firm says the $1 billion investment will also focus on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans, build helpful products, support entrepreneurship and small business and help nonprofits to improve lives across in the continent.
Part of the investment will further be used in building the Equiano sub-sea cable which will run through South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena and connect the continent with Europe.
Google will also expand the Plus Codes, a free and open source addressing system, to Kenya and South Africa after launch of the product in The Gambia.
The investment will also support the Black Founders Fund by providing cash awards and hands-on support black-led startups in Africa.